Production and distribution of drinking water

En France, le service public de l’eau est considéré comme un service essentiel et est apprécié positivement par 80% de la population (baromètre CIEau).

In developed countries, maintaining the quality of drinking water services depends on the capacity of local authorities to:

  • Preserve resources which are increasingly affected by diverse types of pollution. The difficulties associated with managing the availability of land and the ill-adapted nature of the legislative framework are often the primary hurdles faced by local authorities.
  • Face the downward trends in consumption, which is undermining the economic stability of these services,  the costs of which are predominantly fixed ones while their revenues are proportional to the number of m3 of water sold.
  • Ensure that the long-term management of these resources is sustainable, in particular by investing in the renewal of existing networks.
  • Meet the expectations of subscribers in terms of the transparency, accessibility and efficiencyof the service. Justifying and explaining the price of water, guaranteeing an efficient service through the rationalised structuring of services, promoting everyone's right to water in line with UN standards and participating in the governance of the service are just some of the new demands coming from users and civil society. 

In developing countries, water and sanitation services are characterised by a weak capacity to cover their costs and a high level of dependency on international funding. The main reason for this is the general unwillingness of households to contribute financially, but it is also due to unsuitable payment collection methods and the difficulties the public authorities have in anticipating service needs.

The intervention of the private sector in contexts where local institutions lack structure or are unstable sometimes results in tensions between the contracting authority and the operator on the one hand and users on the other. Drawing on its experience of negotiating with private operators, Espelia develops contracts which combine a balanced economic approach with due respect for the essential transparency of public services.

Eau - Robinet

In developed countries

In this sector, Espelia deploys its full operational expertise. More specifically, the firm supports local authorities in:

  • contracting services through innovative contracts which provide for the operator's remuneration to be adjusted according to its performance

  • implementing long-term pricing structures that guarantee stable fees and the long-term financial stability of the service

  • implementing social pricing structures that are appropriate to the social characteristics of the territory

  • defining service projects such as objective-specific contracts or organisational audits of state-owned companies

In developing countries

  • In this sector, Espelia deploys its full operational expertise. Specifically, the firm supports decision-makers in particular in defining pricing policies which are appropriate to the sociological characteristics of their territory. More broadly, the firm works to develop funding schemes which ensure long-term economic stability.

    In order to enhance the efficiency of services, Espelia also contributes to building the capacities of the contracting authority through legal, organisational and methodological recommendations and the development of monitoring and regulatory tools which are tailored to the local challenges. 

    Directeur Pôle Eau et Milieux Aquatiques
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